11 Witch Hazel Substitutes [Hemorrhoids, Skin Care & More]

Have you ever used witch hazel to soothe a kids bug bite? Or maybe you put a little under your eyes each night to prevent those dark circles that come with motherhood.

There are so many incredible ways to use witch hazel in your home that there are almost too many to list. 

Witch hazel is used as a face toner, as a way to stop mosquito bites from itching and even as a way to soothe and heal hemorrhoids.

Witch hazel is almost a magical ingredient. While witch hazel is super useful, some people are not keen on the smell of witch hazel.

Others can find it too harsh or drying. Some people are even allergic to witch hazel. 

If you are looking for all the benefits of witch hazel but in a different product, look no further.

I have found tons of witch hazel substitutes that are just as magical and useful as witch hazel.

These substitutes can also be very helpful when you are simply out of witch hazel and need it’s healing powders fast!

The best substitute for witch hazel is slippery elm. It is a natural, medicinal plant just like witch hazel. Slippery elm also has anti inflammatory properties and can be used topically or ingested. Rubbing alcohol is a good substitute for witch hazel if you are looking to serialize or clean a wound. Coconut oil is a great witch hazel replacement to soothe damaged skin and also prevent skin irritation. You can even use coconut oil to reduce signs of aging, just like you would use witch hazel to do the same! Essential oils can be used as a witch hazel substitute for bath bombs and room sprays. 

Witch Hazel Substitute

Witch hazel is often used as a cure for hemorrhoids. It is even handed out to new moms in hospitals after you give birth!

Those pre soaked witch hazel hemorrhoid wipes can come in handy. 

Here are a few great substitutes for witch hazel when you need to soothe and heal hemorrhoids.

1. Coconut Oil

Applying coconut oil to hemorrhoids can help moisturize and soothe. It is a great natural substitute for witch hazel. 

Coconut Oil can help moisturize and soothe

Coconut oil may also reduce swelling which will further relieve irritation.

2. Ice

Ice is a great way to soothe and cool painful hemorrhoids. It is also just as natural as witch hazel! 

If you are out of witch hazel hemorrhoid wipes, put some water on a cotton ball or wash cloth and freeze it.

Apply the frozen cotton to your hemorrhoids for instant relief similar to that from witch hazel. 

3. Olive Oil

Olive oil in place of witch hazel for hemorrhoids is a great idea. Many of us have olive oil on hand and ready to use. Olive oil is soothing and can reduce swelling. 

Apply olive oil to a cotton ball and then to your hemorrhoids. You will have the same instant relief you get when using witch hazel. 

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has long been used as a natural toner. It is great for removing makeup, soothing skin and healing skin over time. 

Apple cider vinegar for face and for aging skin

Apple cider vinegar is a great substitute for witch hazel because it is also natural. It is a perfect replacement for witch hazel for face and for aging skin. Make it part of your daily routine!

5. Cucumber Juice

Cucumber juice can help your skin stay hydrated and fresh. Pour a little cucumber juice on a cotton ball and use it under your eyes to prevent dark circles. It also works well to clean and clear skin.

Cucumber juice is also used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The vitamin C in cucumber juice helps prevent infection so it is also a good, mild way to treat minor cuts.

As you can see, cucumber juice does many of the same things as witch hazel. All you need is a fresh cucumber! 

6. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is very often used in place of witch hazel. It is a very effective astringent that keeps harmful bacteria at bay. Rubbing alcohol also fights skin infections.

Rubbing alcohol is more harsh than witch hazel. It can burn when applied to damaged skin so keep this in mind, especially when treating kids. 

7. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a common skin care product. It is most often used to treat sunburn. Aloe will help sunburned skin feel better and it will also reduce inflammation of the burn.

aloe vera will help sunburned skin feel better

You can easily find aloe vera in almost any store. You may even be able to find witch hazel infused with aloe vera.

This is a combination of two very powerful skin care products!

8. Slippery Elm

Slippery elm is often used in place of witch hazel. It is another ingredient that dates back to Native Americans.

Slippery elm is used to soothe sore throats and other types of inflammation. 

While witch hazel tea can be bitter and astringent, slippery elm is much more mild and drinkable. Tea made with slippery elm is thick and hearty.

It will reduce swelling and inflammation quickly making it a great substitute for witch hazel. 

9. Horse Chestnut

Horse chestnut tea is often used to reduce inflammation especially in the throat. It also is a natural remedy for other cold symptoms.

You can drink horse chestnut or apply it topically to reduce swelling on external bumps and bruises. 

Horse chestnut can be hard to find. Many teas may contain this rare ingredient but you should also be able to find it online. 

10. Rose Water

Rose water is one of the best witch hazel replacements you can find. It is mild, smells wonderful and has almost no side effects. It is also effective! 

Rose water has anti inflammatory properties that can treat skin irritation. It can soothe bug bites, cuts and bruises.

Try spraying some rose water on as a witch hazel substitute for bug spray.

Rose Water has anti inflammatory properties that can treat skin irritation

It is also a great witch hazel substitute for room spray and will leave your house smelling fantastic.

11. Essential Oil

Essential oils are amazing for skin care. Each oil has its own, special job that can help in place of witch hazel especially in home products.

Try using lavender oil as an antiseptic and anti inflammatory. Lavender oil can also help with minor burns or bug bites. Eucalyptus oil is also great for healing bug bites. 

Essential oil is a perfect witch hazel substitute for bath bombs. Spray a little vanilla oil into your homemade bath bomb mix for a great scent and to help moisturize. 

What Is Witch Hazel?

Witch hazel is a plant that grows in the northeastern United States. The leaves, bark and twigs of the witch hazel plant are all used to make the medicinal water you see in stores.

Witch hazel has been around since the Native American days and is still quite as popular.

Witch hazel is an ingredient in many of the biggest skin care brands. Many lotions, toners and anti aging products use witch hazel to make products potent and powerful.

You can also buy witch hazel “water” which is pure witch hazel essence. 

Uses For Witch Hazel

There are many ways to use witch hazel. It is definitely a product you need to get into your medicine cabinet. Here is a quick look at a few of the ways to use witch hazel. 

  1. Reduce swelling and discoloration of skin. 
  2. Treat varicose veins. 
  3. Treat swollen hemorrhoids
  4. Reduce skin irritation in kids (such as treating diaper rash or minor rash)
  5. Soothe sunburn
  6. Provide relief from itchy bug bites
  7. Stop bleeding

The main uses for witch hazel involve treating ailments of the skin. Witch hazel can soothe in so many ways. Now, let’s talk about what to do if using witch hazel isn’t an option. 

Witch Hazel Vs Rubbing Alcohol

Witch hazel and rubbing alcohol are sold in very similar bottles. You may wonder if they are the same thing!

Witch hazel and rubbing alcohol may have some of the same uses, but they are two very different products. 

Witch hazel is a natural astringent made from plants. Rubbing alcohol, on the other hand, is a man-made denatured alcohol. 

Witch hazel is often used as a natural, more mild alternative to rubbing alcohol. You can use witch hazel in place of rubbing alcohol for cleaning wounds.

While rubbing alcohol can dry out the skin, witch hazel can soothe it. The two skin care products may not be the same but they are both quite beneficial!

Best Substitute For Witch Hazel

There are a few reasons why you may need to find a witch hazel substitute. For one, witch hazel can be hard to find.

There is actually a short supply of witch hazel so locating a bottle in your local store can be tricky. 

Some people are also allergic to witch hazel. The plant extract can cause irritation in some, forcing you to look for a witch hazel alternative.

I also know that some kids may not like the strong smell of witch hazel and beg their mom and dad to use something else to heal ailments. 

No matter your reason for needing a witch hazel substitute, I have the ingredient for you!

I have divided witch hazel substitutes into sections based on their best uses. Choose your witch hazel substitute based on how you plan to use the substitute. 

How To Make Your Own Witch Hazel

Learn how to make witch hazel and you will never run out of it again!

Making witch hazel at home is actually very easy, you just need to find witch hazel bark. Once you have the bark from the witch hazel plant, you are ready to go!

Take a look at this easy witch hazel recipe and steps to make homemade witch hazel. 


4 ounces witch hazel bark

4 cups distilled water

3 ounces organic vodka

  1. Place the witch hazel bark and three cups of the distilled water in a large pot. Cover the pot and heat over low heat. 
  2. Cook over very low heat for one hour. Do not let the mix simmer or boil, it should just be consistently hot. 
  3. Strain the bark and water through a cheesecloth, squeezing the bark so you get as much liquid out as possible. 
  4. Discard the dry, cooked bark and reserve the liquid.
  5. Add the remaining distilled water to the witch hazel bark water along with the vodka. 
  6. Let the mix cool then store in a cool, dry place. 

In just about one hour, you can make your own witch hazel that is organic, potent and pure. Give it a try and let me know what you think! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about witch hazel substitutes? Hopefully these direct questions and answers can help!

If there is still something you are wondering, feel free to send a message my way! I will try to answer ASAP.

Does Witch Hazel Really Help With Pimples?

Yes. witch hazel is an astringent which will remove excess sebum from the skin. This helps dry out pimples and also reduce the inflammation of pimples. Witch hazel can reduce acne symptoms. 

How Does Witch Hazel Differ From Rubbing Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide?

Which haze is a medicinal plant while rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are man made chemicals.

They have many of the same uses but many prefer natural witch hazel since it is less harsh than rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. 

Natural Substitute For Witch Hazel?

Slippery elm is the most commonly used natural substitute for witch hazel. It has many similar properties to witch hazel and can also be safely ingested.

Slippery elm can help reduce inflammation in a natural way, just like witch hazel. 

Final Considerations

Any one of these witch hazel substitutes will bring benefits to your life.

From the products that soothe aging skin to those that help reduce inflammation or heal cuts and scrapes, you are sure to find something to help you! 

Let us know your favorite witch hazel substitute. I know I am very curious about slippery elm now! Good luck and enjoy.

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